June 9th, 2017 – Takuya Tsunoda

Please join us on Friday, June 9th at 10:30AM in Cobb 311 for the sixth, and final, Spring Quarter meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we’re looking forward to welcoming Dr. Takuya Tsunoda, Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Takuya will be presenting an article in progress, titled “Radical or Clinical: Hani Susumu, Nouvelle Vague in Japan and the Ontogeny of Cinema.”

Dr. Tsunoda’s paper is available for download here.

Please email either Katerina Korola [katerinakorola@uchicago.edu] or Dave Burnham [burnham@uchicago.edu] for the password.

Refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Your coordinators,

Katerina Korola and Dave Burnham


Radical or Clinical: Hani Susumu, Nouvelle Vague in Japan and the Ontogeny of Cinema

This essay focuses on Hani Susumu and his complex status, namely, one of the champions of the Japanese New Wave who has thus far been sidelined in the Japanese film history of the period. Tracing and analyzing the historical trajectory of Hani’s filmmaking principles and practices (primarily at Iwanami Productions), this study reconsiders the genealogy of the postwar cinematic modernism. To be more specific, I argue that Hani’s films solicit an inclusive participation in a ‘film-making’ reenactment of its own evolutionary path, not an exclusive commitment to a revolutionary break with the cinema of the past. Hani’s conception of the medium as a “processive” – in Hani’s own term – apparatus called for a retrogressive move against the concurrent drive for a commitment to progressive radicalism, or a form of media activism deeply tied with a crucial theoretical mode of defining new cinema of the 1960s as a “political act.” Reflecting upon further analyses of Iwanami’s preceding educational film and Hani’s shorts, I draw on an ontogenetic perspective that relates such retrogressive and (quasi-)atavistic praxis to the crucial root of the new cinema movement as well as to the reflexive vision fostered by postwar audio-visual pedagogy in Japan.


Takuya TSUNODA is a Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He has book chapters and an article forthcoming on Iwanami Productions, Japanese television documentaries from the 1970s, industrial film in Japan, and the Japanese director IMAMURA Shohei. His current research centers on the history and theory of audio-visual education and its relation to the new cinemas of the 1960s.